Mainstream diets and trends like to persuade people that their method of eating is the one and only way to optimal health, wellbeing and weightloss. The reality is that there is no one method to eating and our nutritional needs change seasonally.
Life is in constant change and in-motion every second of the day. So how could there be only one method of eating for your entire life? The word diet in Greek, diata, and translates to “a way of living” or “mode of life,” which simply means lifestyle.
There is a reason and a season for everything, which is why nature harvests certain foods at different times of the year. As nature transitions, so do our nutritional needs.
As a health coach and trainer, most clients succeed when free from strict diet rules and guidelines. If you live by any guidelines, these six diet and lifestyle tips help you stay healthy every season. These tips help you break away from the rules and regulations of bogus diets and guide you on how to apply these tips to every season.
EAT SUPER FRUITS
Every season nature blossoms super fruits. From citrus fruits in the winter to pineapple in the late spring / early summer, nature provides nutrient-dense fruits that are “important” to the human body in that particular season. It’s why nature provides cooling water-based melons in the summer and fibrous fruits such as kiwis and cranberries in the winter. Although fruits are available year round, go beyond the banana and apple with seasonal fare.
Dietary fiber provides bulk against the colon muscles to expel waste. There are two kinds of fiber and it is important to eat a variety of soluble and insoluble fiber. It is also important to eat a variety of cooked and raw food vegetables. Vegetables, like fruit, is where we get our nutrients from and one of the best ways to do that is to eat raw vegetables. Sometimes munching on plain, raw carrots isn’t for everyone so a salad, topped with olive oil, apple cider vinegar and some salt, is more palatable and an excellent way to consume a variety of raw foods.
AIM FOR BALANCE
Not every meal will be perfect, but for the majority of meals, aim to balance carbohydrates, fat and protein. For example, a falafel sandwich or vegetarian pho are perfect examples of meals that balance the macronutrients, which also includes fresh vegetables.
Mindful eating experts believe in eating via the senses. Visually, what you see on your plate is what you’ll consume. Eating half of a large pizza is “easy” because most of the ingredients are processed and stripped of their nutrients, which does not fill up the body. It’s why we need to eat more of it in order to feel satiated. Bulk up on fiber such as adding more vegetables to pasta or eating a salad prior to consuming the pizza.
Sweet foods are a part of life. The ancients once ate fruit as desserts and today sugar is the drug of choice for most people. It is natural to crave sweet food, but many Americans cope their emotions through binge eating sugar. Eating sugar becomes a habit, but most fail to listen to their inner wisdom to see what they REALLY want to eat. Are you eating boatloads of sugar to cope for your stress, anxiety or displeasure in life? It’s important to discover emotional triggers to see why, when and how you reach out to comforting foods.
GREEN IS GOOD
Every season nature harvests dark leafy green vegetables. From kale in the winter to spinach in the spring, dark leafy greens are an essential food birthed from Mother Nature. Low in calories and high in nutrients, dark leafy greens are great for weight management, rich in electrolyte nutrients and are a valuable food for people susceptible to diabetes and heart disease. Skip the dairy and eat dark leafy greens (ahem, salads aka "kill two birds with one stone") as an ideal source of calcium and iron.
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com